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What is the Ethereum Virtual Machine?

Ethereum has a Turing-complete platform built into it that allows the blockchain to function like a large distributed computer. The Ethereum Virtual Machine is a part of every Ethereum client software on the blockchain, and it allows the interconnected computers to function as one processor. Distributed computation such as this is not really a new thing, but the fact that it allows all developers in Ethereum to decentralized their projects makes this one of the most revolutionary aspects of the Ethereum platform. Continue reading...

How Do You Set Up a Bitcoin Miner?

Setting up a bitcoin miner can be as simple as downloading a mining client program, or as complicated as building a custom rig. Bitcoin mining used to be cheaper and easier to do than it is today, but it can still be relatively simple to execute. In the past, a computer with a CPU could crunch through enough hashes to solve a few blocks and turn a profit. Now, a good GPU, that is, a Graphics Processing Unit card connected to the motherboard of a computer, or a series of GPUs, is par for the course because they can perform many times as many hashes per second than a CPU can alone. This is the case even if the CPU has several cores, and it just has to do with the way that GPUs handle their work. Continue reading...

Who Created Ethereum?

Who would have thought that a 19-year-old from Toronto could write a whitepaper nearly as influential as Satoshi Nakamoto’s (Bitcoin founder)? A few years after Bitcoin’s launch, a young programmer and student of blockchain technology named Vitalik Buterin wrote a whitepaper imagining the Ethereum platform. While Bitcoin’s blockchain was primarily designed to handle transaction information, Ethereum is designed to offer a blockchain protocol for anything that can be programmed, which includes wh... Continue reading...

How Do You Use Ethereum?

When most people ask this question they are actually asking how to use Ether, the main currency of the Ethereum platform. But the Ethereum platform can be used in many ways as well. Ethereum is a platform that can be used by developers to create decentralized applications (dapps), tokens/cryptocurrencies, and basically anything else that can be programmed. It was the front-runner of the race to develop what is sometimes called Crypto 2.0: blockchain technologies that go well beyond singular usage as digital currency and instead reach and revolutionize every aspect of digital technology in the world today. People can and do use Ether, the primary currency of the Ethereum system, to make transactions like a currency, or as an investment. Continue reading...

What is Ethereum?

Ethereum is an open-source, public, blockchain-based distributed computing platform. Ethereum provides a cryptocurrency known as ether. Ethereum is a decentralized platform that runs what are known as “smart contracts.” Smart contracts are applications that run on custom built blockchain, which functions on its own accord through rules programmed into the protocol, and which also makes decisions and keeps records based on consensus throughout a peer-to-peer network. A blockchain oversees its own activities without requiring any trust in a central authority or the other parties involved. Continue reading...

What are Multichains and Sidechains?

Sidechains are blockchains which handle assets off of the main blockchain and are able to return them to the main blockchain at a future date. As you understand by now, blockchains are comprised of interconnected computers serving as nodes in a decentralized consensus network. Everything that happens to assets on that blockchain is validated and recorded on that blockchain. If assets are taken to another chain, however, where different protocols may apply to suit the needs of the parties using the assets, this may be called a sidechain. Continue reading...

What is a Decentralized Application?

The Ethereum platform allows developers to use it as a coding environment and distribution network for applications built on the blockchain. The ability to create distributed applications on a blockchain is a novel idea that has gained a lot of momentum since Ethereum’s release. Developers can write and distribute their applications over the blockchain network, at little to no cost, while removing the necessity of running a website or a large server database because the blockchain satisfies these needs. The code for the application becomes part of the blockchain ledger, and users who wish to use some functionality of the decentralized application, or Ðapp as they are called, will submit requests to the Ethereum blockchain, pay the transaction fees for the distributed network to process the requests, and the network will call on the code of the Ðapp stored in the blockchain and process it using the computing power of the distributed network sometimes called the Ethereum Virtual Machine. Continue reading...

How Does Ethereum Mining Work?

Ethereum mining is the process of solving blocks of encrypted blockchain data using a proof-of-work algorithm and occasionally being rewarded with Ether. Blockchain data is validated and added to the distributed ledger by computers on the network performing the task of “mining,” which is continually attempting to solve puzzles, basically, which each unlock a block of encrypted data containing information about transactions, and, on the Ethereum platform, information about distributed application functions and smart contracts. Once a block is unlocked, the data within is shared with the network and added to the distributed ledger. Continue reading...

What is Ether?

Ether is the currency that powers the Ethereum network, which is a platform of distributed blockchain computing on which transactions, smart contracts, and distributed applications operate. Ethereum is a blockchain code environment through which distributed applications, smart contracts, and financial transactions using the Ethereum protocol are tested, validated, and added to distributed ledgers by the mining computers acting as nodes in the network. Ether is the currency, or token, in the Ethereum world which is used to pay the miners and transaction fees which are specific to its blockchain. Continue reading...

How Does Ethereum Work?

Ethereum uses a blockchain that looks very similar to Bitcoin’s until you get into the details. Ethereum is a platform on which transactions can be made using Ether or other tokens which have been made using the protocol, and smart contracts and decentralized applications (Ðapps) can be executed using the distributed computing power of what’s called the Ethereum Virtual Machine. When viewed from different angles, Ethereum is an open-source coding environment, a market upon which to distribute new blockchain-based applications, and a distributed computing machine that processes functions of the blockchain applications across a broad network. Distributed computing itself is not that new, but distributed computing on a blockchain is. Continue reading...

Why do ICOs Matter to Ethereum and Bitcoin?

ICOs can help the market and developers test the waters for new concepts using blockchain technology. When a new idea succeeds or fails after using an ICO, it could be said that the company had made use of every advantage at its disposal and that it had the best chance at success in that environment as it could have had anywhere else. It could have done so more cheaply, and with less interference, than in the “real world,” generally speaking. Continue reading...

What is Tokenization?

Tokenization is a concept that can take several forms, but essentially it means to create a tradeable item which holds value anchored in an asset which is not itself readily tradeable. If something of value is not easily traded, it is natural that a token is created which represents part or all of such value, which can then be held until redemption or circulated as currency. Historically, some things, such as hours of labor, could not easily be accounted for without a physical token. Continue reading...

What Was the DAO?

The DAO was somewhat of an experiment in corporate governance and structure built on the open-source Ethereum platform, and the ripples of its fall are still felt in the Ethereum world. DAO stands for Decentralized Autonomous Organization, and it was a crowdfunded business or venture capital fund that raised $150 million in a month-- in fact, it was the single-largest crowdfunding campaign ever. It was so big that about 14% of the total Ether in existence at that point was invested in the project, and it was listed on all the major cryptocurrency exchanges. Continue reading...

What is the Accounting Cycle?

The Accounting Cycle includes all of the documentation that is collected and all of the controls and systems in place to ensure accurate accounting. The Accounting Cycle begins with the point of sale, with documentation for the transaction (invoice or receipt) and the internal expenses and inventory. There are conventions, controls and systems in place to account for and control the flow of information in a company at each stage of the process to ensure that accounts are as accurate as possible. The Accounting Cycle may refer to the length of time between trial balances, such as monthly, quarterly, or annually. Continue reading...

What is the Lightning Network?

The Lightning Network is a system that allows for extremely fast Bitcoin transactions off-chain. Lightning Network is a smart contract protocol that uses existing blockchains to mediate transactions off-chain to increase the speed at which they can be finalized. Such a technology is much sought-after in the Bitcoin community, where transactions can take hours to clear if the workflow for miners gets backed up. With the fast pace of business today, the emergence of many other options for faster settlement, such as Ethereum and Ripple, developers know that something like Lightning Network may be needed to keep Bitcoin relevant and make it more scalable. Continue reading...

What is an Account Executive?

An account executive is an individual who has executive responsibility of the maintenance of client account. In certain businesses, some client accounts have a high degree of importance and priority with regards to sales and operations, perhaps because they generate significant revenue for the company. Examples of such businesses might be advertising, office products, and investment services. The title of account executive is especially fitting if there is a staff which supports the lead account executive in maintenance of the client relationship and account service, but a staff is not required to hold this title. In other businesses this position might be called an account manager. Continue reading...

What is the Suitability Standard?

The suitability standard states that a broker-dealer is obliged to, in the very least, make investment recommendations that are suitable for their clients. The SEC defines a broker as someone who acts as an agent for someone else, and a dealer as someone who acts as a principal for their own account. The suitability standard only details that the broker-dealer has to reasonably believe that any recommendations made are suitable for clients (in terms of the client’s financial needs, objectives and unique circumstances) instead of having to place his/her interests below that of the client. An example would be a broker recommending a proprietary bond fund for a client looking for a fixed income solution. Continue reading...

What is a Federal Credit Union?

Federal Credit Unions are essentially banks that are owned by their clients instead of publicly traded or what-have-you. Instead of being part of the FDIC, they have the National Credit Union Association (NCUA). They tend to be able to offer higher interest rates on savings and lower interest rates on loans than banks can, due to their mutual-ownership structure. Credit Unions operate as non-for-profit businesses, which can allow their management to use 457 retirement plans, but they are not associated with the Federal government. They do, however, charter under federal regulations, as opposed to state banks. Continue reading...

How often should I call my financial advisor?

While a client should be involved in communication efforts as well, it’s really the advisor that should be reaching out with information and scheduling appointments at least once a year. You should definitely discuss your investment portfolio with your Financial Advisor at least annually. Even if nothing has changed, it’s important to keep communication lines open. On the other hand, doing that more than once a quarter without a pressing need to do so might lead you to make poor decisions based on emotions and shortsightedness, rather than on investment discipline. Continue reading...

How Do You Mine Ethereum?

When mining on the Ethereum blockchain, you are rewarded in Ether, but you may need to do some calculations to find out it if will be profitable for you. Ethereum mining can still be done profitably, as of the time of this writing, by individuals on their home computers, as long as they have decent hardware. This is no longer the case for Bitcoin, Litecoin, and a few other coins, due to the development of ASIC (application-specific integrated circuits) mining rigs used by the nascent mining industry, which have rendered home computers obsolete and have begun to present a significant centralization threat on the decentralized blockchain. Continue reading...